Showing posts with label Biryanis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biryanis. Show all posts

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Green Biryani




I had this craving for eating something delicious that was bothering me. But when you return home after a long time and don't have the time to do groceries you try to be resourceful with what is left in the freezer and on the grocery shelf in your home. That's exactly what I did for the whole week and exhausted all the resources except for some frozen shrimp, a couple of onions, green chillies and a can of coconut milk. I had no mood to eat the same shrimp dishes once again. This need compelled me to make something different and unique with the ingredients I had. As they say "necessity is the mother of invention, lo and behold, I made this green biryani with shrimp and coconut milk. I call it green biryani because I used green masala with no turmeric, tomatoes or red chilli powder etc.

It was so flavourful, tasty and delicious!! And the best thing of all is I made it in instant pot, it was pretty quick and easy.

Ingredients:
25 Jumbo Tiger Shrimp  
2 Cups Basumathi Rice
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Onions (medium size)
11/2 TBS Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Black Cardamom
2 inch stick Cinnamon 

For the Green Masala Paste
4-6 Green chillies 
1 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves
1/2 Cup Cilantro
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper Corns
4 Cloves
4 green Cardamoms
a pinch of Saffron
Salt as required.




Method: 

1. Wash the rice and soak it in water for at least half an hour

2. Peel, devein, wash and clean the shrimp and keep aside.

3. Slice the onions, grind the ginger garlic paste. Reserve some mint and cilantro for steaming the rice and grind together the rest with 2 green chillies, cumin seeds, black pepper corns, cloves, green cardamom and a little water to a fine paste. First grind the dry spices then add the mint, cilantro and green chillies. This is the green masala.

4. Heat oil in the instant pot, (set it on sauté mode) lightly fry the shrimp quickly, remove and keep aside.

5. In the same oil in the instant pot fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, green masala, lightly stir, add 1/2 cup coconut milk, a little water mix well and switch off the instant pot. Soak the saffron threads in 1 tbs hot water and set aside.

6. Meanwhile steam the rice by cooking it in boiling salted water till 70% done. Drain it. Switch on the instant pot to sauté mode low and when the green masala comes to a boil, pour the rice over the masala curry.

7. Throw in the reserved mint and chopped cilantro, saffron water and the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk. Add 3- 4 drops of green food colouring to 1tbs of the cooked rice. Mix well and sprinkle this coloured rice on the top layer of rice.

8. Close the instant pot lid. Switch it on and set it to pressure cook on low for 5 mins.  Keep the valve in the venting position.

9. After 5 mins open the instant pot lid. Then gently slide a flat spatula from the sides to the bottom and slowly lift the rice and fluff it. Repeat gently and carefully from all sides till rice is mixed well with the sauce taking care not to break the long basumathi grains.

10. Serve hot and enjoy with onion yoghurt or tomato chutney. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Madrasi Vegetable Biryani

The pictures below show the vegetable biryani made at two different times with a slightly different technique. Adding the beetroot to the sauce colours all the vegetables and the rice as well, so it looks like beetroot colour all over. But if you layer the beetroot pieces on top of the rice it stands out like a jewel in the crown and makes the biryani more colourful and I prefer doing that. Also I feel a difference in flavour too though both are equally good.  I have shown both the methods below with pictures.






Ingredients:
Vegetable Oil - 1 cup
Cloves - 10
Green cardamoms - 10
Cinnamon sticks - 2 x 3"
Basumati rice - 5 cups
Onions - 5 medium to large size
Potatoes - 4 - 5
Peas - 1 1/2 cups
Carrot - 1large
Green beans - 2cups
kohlarabi - 1
Beetroot - 1 
Cauliflower florets - 2 cups
Plum tomatoes - 4 large 
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 cup
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Saffron - a pinch
Cilantro - 2 cups chopped
Mint - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 10
fresh lemon/lime juice - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method: 
Peel, wash and cut potatoes into big chunks. Peel carrots, kohlarabi and beetroot, wash them and cut into thin dices and keep them aside separately. Cut beans each into 2 pieces. Separate cauliflower florets, wash, towel dry and keep aside. 

Deep fry all the vegetables separately except the beetroot as it colours the oil. 

Pre soak the basumathi rice for half an hour, after rinsing in several changes of water until clear. For golden sela rice, it has to be soaked for 2- 4 hours.



1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot. Add the whole spices - 10 cloves, 10 green cardamoms, and 2x 3" cinnamon sticks. 
  
2. Peel, wash and slice 5 large onions and add them to the pot
.

3. Fry the onions on medium heat till they are golden brown.


4. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chilly powder. 


5. Add green chillies and tomatoes.


6.Turn over and cook till they soften a bit.


 7. Add yoghurt and mix well.



8. Add a few mint leaves. 


9. Add chopped fresh cilantro.

10. Meanwhile fry all the vegetables separately and the beetroot at the end, otherwise it will color them all. Do not fry the peas.


11. Add all the fried vegetables and green peas.


12. Sprinkle 1 tsp lemon juice, adjust the salt and mix all the vegetables well with the saiuce gently. 


13. Pre soak basumathi rice for 1/2 an hour. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the basumathi rice and 2 -3tbs salt. Cook for a few minutes till the grains become just a little soft on the outside but still gritty when you press them between your index finger and thumb (you should keep checking from time to time). At this stage you should drain the rice to the last drop


14. Transfer all the contents of the pot (the sauce with the vegetables) to the roaster and place it in the oven preheated at 375 degrees centigrade. 


15. Immediately layer the drained rice on top of the sauce in the roaster simmering in the oven.


16. Add the fresh mint and coriander.
                                                                                                  

17. Add a pinch of edible orange food colouring on one side and mix it with a little rice as seen in the picture.


18. Sprinkle the coloured rice on top of the white rice. Add the saffron milk. Close the roaster lid and steam in the oven preheated at 375 degrees centigrade for 10 mins.


19. Remove from the oven when done and let it settle for 5 mins. Then open the lid and mix the rice with a round or flat spatula gently starting from the bottom and then folding in with the rice on top.

20. Mix well till all the white rice is coated with the sauce. Now close the lid and put it back into the hot oven for 5 more mins.  The vegetable biryani is now ready to eat. Serve hot with onion yoghurt chutney and enjoy!

Tips:

1.  It is very important to use good quality long grain basumathi rice which has been aged.

2 Adding the beetroot pieces along with the other vegetables to the sauce colours the rice and all the vegetables in it as you can see in the picture. If you want it coloured it is fine. But I prefer adding the beetroot pieces as a layer on top of the rice, which makes them stand out like a jewel in the crown.

Take a look at the pictures here after step 10:

11. Add all the vegetables except the beetroot pieces. Mix well


12. Add fresh lemon juice, mix well then transfer the sauce with the vegetables to a roaster and place it in the oven preheated at 375 degrees centigrade. 


13. Now top the vegetable sauce in the roaster with a layer of 3/4 cooked basumathi rice, then put all the beetroot pieces on top of the rice. 


14. Add another thin layer of rice over the beetroot pieces. Throw in some fresh mint leaves and lots of chopped cilantro. Colour a little of the rice in the corner of the roaster with edible natural food colouring and sprinkle the coloured rice all over the top layer which makes it look so decorative and colourful. Finally sprinkle a few drops of saffron milk (saffron dissolved in milk) here and there as the last finishing touch before closing the lid on the roaster. Let it steam in the oven preheated at 375 degrees centigrade for 10 mins. 



15. Remove the roaster from the oven when you get an aroma of the biryani which means it is done. Do not open the lid immediately as you could burn your face - it is steaming hot! let it sit for at least 5 minutes so all the juices get absorbed. Then wear your kitchen gloves and slowly open the lid little by little, while keeping your face away from it. Take a flat or round spatula and gently turn over the rice from the bottom to mix it. Start from one side of the roaster and as you turn the rice over the sauce from the bottom, mix well lightly and gently and enjoy!

As it is vegetable biryani you can mix all the biryani in the roaster, then reheat again before serving. With all the other biryanis it is not recommended. It is better to mix only as much as you want to serve, as there is a tendency for the meat pieces to break. But the foremost thing is to mix gently and carefully with a flat spatula. Also it cools down fast as all the steam comes out if you mix everything all at once. Everyone loves to eat steaming hot biryani, so we mix when we serve and keep the lid closed.                                                                                                    

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The White Biryani

Ever imagined eating a biryani and not feeling heavy? The White biryani does the trick. It is less oily, less hot and less spicy, but full of flavour and very tasty. Ever since I created the white chicken, I have been wanting to create this dish for so long and had been imagining it all the time. Thanks to the Almighty it turned out to be as tasty as I had imagined it to be.  The chicken pieces were soft, silky,  flavourful and juicy and the biryani had a subtle exotic flavour and intense taste.
My favourite dish is our traditional Madrasi biryani. There are different kinds of biryanis all over the world. But I am proud to say and challenge that none can beat our traditional madrasi biryani not even the white biryani which is my own creation. I will be posting that soon.
Ingredients:
Whole chickens – 2 (1.5kgs each)
Long grain Basumati Rice-6 cups
For the marinade:
Thick Yoghurt – 1 full cup
Ginger garlic paste – 1/4 cup
Dhania powder – 2 tspns
Cumin powder – 1 tspn
Fennel powder – 1/2 tspn
Green cardamom powder – 1 1/2 tspns
Green chillies – 4 -6 small size
Vegetable oil – 1/4 cup
For the sauce:
Cinnamon bark (dark brown) – 1 (3 inch piece)
Cloves – 8 – 10
Green cardamoms 10
Star anise – 1-2
Vegetable oil – 1/2cup
Blanched Almonds – 1/2 cup
Fried onion paste – 1 cup (made with 2 medium sized onions)
1 small to medium sized onion sliced.
Cilantro – 1 cup chopped
Mint – 1 bunch (pepper mint only)
Saffron -1/2 tsp
Whole green chillies – 6 – 8 small size
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Half and half milk – 1 cup
Top quality Basumati Rice for biryani – 6 cups
Lemon- 1
Yoghurt – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Method:
1. Remove the skin, clean, wash and drain the chicken. Wipe it dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with the lime juice and salt, keep aside for 15 mins.
2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and stir well till it becomes a thick paste. Combine everything well adding appropriate salt.
3. Rub the chicken with this marinade and set aside for a couple of hrs.
4. Broil the marinated chicken pieces for 4-6 mins on each side. Remove and set aside.
5. Lightly fry the blanched almonds separately in a tspn of butter. Grind them in a wet grinder to a fine paste and keep aside.
6.  To prepare the sauce, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a big pot add the whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom)  then fry the sliced onion on medium heat till it becomes translucent and not golden brown as in the other biryanis. Remember always that we are making white biryani here and we don’t want it to be brown in any way, therefore enough care is to be taken not to overdo anything.
7. Once the onions turn translucent, stir in the fried onion paste and ginger garlic paste followed by the yoghurt and ground almonds. Fry lightly till the onions blend well with the paste.
8. Add the broiled chicken pieces to the  pot, mix gently. Add green chillies, mint, chopped coriander  and let it simmer for a while. Add a little water if it is too thick.
9. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the basumati rice which has been pre-soaked for atleast 1/2 an hr and 2 tblspns salt.
10. Test the rice for doneness by pressing a grain of rice between your index finger and thumb. It should be soft on the outside and still gritty inside. At this stage switch off the stove and drain the rice.
11. Transfer the cooked chicken with the gravy to the roaster. Top it with chopped coriander, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and adjust the salt after tasting the curry.
12. Put the roaster in a pre-heated oven (at 375 degrees Fahrenheit) and let it simmer for a while. do not close the lid yet.
13. Now transfer the hot cooked rice to the roaster.
14. Crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle. Add some water mix well and pour it in a cup. Add a tbsp of butter to it. Take a ladle of rice and mix it with the saffron butter water.
15. Sprinkle the top of the roaster with the saffron rice, mint leaves and 1/2- 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro and put it back in the oven for 10-15 mins.
16. Remove from the oven when you smell the aroma of the biryani around. The white Biryani is now ready. Serve hot with yoghurt chutney and kachumbar. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Salmon Biryani

Yesterday I made Salmon biryani for Ifthaar. I had such a craving for fish biryani as I hadn't made it  in a long time. Unlike me, nobody loves fish in my family. It turned out delicious - just the way I imagined it! I did not touch any of the ifthaar snacks as I could not wait to enjoy it.  The mint and the yoghurt chutneys I made with it added the zing to it.

But one thing about fish biryani is that it has to be eaten fresh. Even a day old fish biryani does not taste the same as the fish smell becomes kind of over powering. So enjoy it fresh as it is delicious.
























Ingredients:
Salmon - 6-8 medium size pieces (1 lb)
Onions - 3 medium size
Tomatoes - 2 medium size
Green chillies - 4-6 small
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tblspn
Thick Yoghurt - 1/2 a cup
Mint leaves (Fresh) - a few
Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cloves - 5
Green cardamom - 5
Red chilly Powder - 2 tspns
Turmeric - 1 1/2 tspns
Cumin - 1/2 tspn
Lemon juice - 1 tblspn
Salt
Saffron - a pinch
Warm milk - 2 tblspns
Basumati Rice - 1 1/2 cups
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup + 2-3 tblspns for frying salmon.

Method:
1.Slice the onions and cut the tomatoes into quarters. Make fresh ginger garlic paste and set aside.

2.Wash the basumati rice and let it soak for 20 - 30 mins.

3. Rub the salmon pieces with salt, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp cumin. Marinate for half an hour and set aside.

4.  Fry the salmon in the vegetable oil for 2 or 3 mins on each side by turning over only once.

5. Heat the oil in a pot. add the whole spices - cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms. Immediately add the   sliced onions to it and fry till golden brown.

6.Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, 1/2 tspn red chilly powder and tomatoes and simmer till the tomatoes turn soft. Mix well.

7. Add the yoghurt followed by green chillies, mint and cilantro. Put the sauce in a roasting dish, then add  the fried salmon pieces to it and simmer for around 10 mins.

8. Meanwhile bring to boil 4 to 5 litres of water in a big pot. Add 2 tblspns of salt. Add rice and cook till half  done. The rice should be a little soft on the outside but still gritty on the inside. Drain well.

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.























10. Now remove the fried salmon pieces from the sauce and set aside. Put the cooked rice into the roasting pan, add fresh mint leaves, cilantro, then saffron solution (saffron dissolved in warm milk). And layer the top with the fried salmon pieces that we removed from the sauce.

11. Close the lid and steam it in the oven for 10 mins.

12. Remove while it is steaming hot and serve with Mint chutney and Yoghurt chutney. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Traditional Madrasi Chicken Biryani

The traditional madrasi biryani is very popular in South India especially in Chennai where not a single muslim function or event is complete without this being served. Its aroma fills the air and you can smell the biryani at least 5 houses down the street. It is so insanely delicious! 

The art of the traditional madrasi biryani lies in its technique and the few tips and tricks which add to its flavour and taste.  The flavour is enhanced by adding selected whole garam masala spices. Adding too many garam masala spices or garam masala powders mars its flavour and adding cashew or almond paste makes the rice grains sticky.  

What is important in a delicious biryani is a combination of  flavour, texture and taste and this is achieved by adding the right spices, the right quality and the right proportions of all the  ingredients and at the right time using the right technique. It is like a marriage which comes together when everything is in perfect harmony.  




Here's the recipe:


Ingredients:

Chicken - 1 whole + 1/2 a breast (2kgs)
Onions - 6 medium size
Tomatoes - 5 medium size (preferably plum)
Cloves - 10
Green cardamoms - 8
Cinnamon sticks - 2- 3 (2 " inch sticks)
Vegetable oil - 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 cup
Thick yoghurt - 1 cup
Green chillies - 10 -12 small size
Mint leaves - a handful
Cilantro chopped - 1 cup
Saffron - 1 generous pinch
Milk   - 1/2 a cup
Turmeric- 1/2 a tspn
Red chilly powder- 1tspn
Basumati Rice - 5 cups (Long grain rice )

*Some of the good brands of regular basumati rice are  817, Lal Qila, Tilda etc.



Method:

Peel, wash and slice the onions. You could use a food processor as it is much easier. Grind the ginger garlic paste. Wash and cut tomatoes into quarters, remove the stems from the green chillies, wash and chop coriander, wash mint leaves and keep aside.                                          
                                          

Heat 1 cup of oil in a big pot. Add the whole cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamoms.  


Add the sliced onions and fry them on medium heat stirring on and off taking care not to burn them. The onions first turn translucent and then start turning golden brown. This takes atleast 10 to 15 mins. 


The onions should be evenly brown as in the picture.

Stir in the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chilly powder. When it leaves an aroma add the tomatoes and green chillies.

Let the tomatoes soften a bit, then add the chicken pieces. 


Roast the chicken in the masala by turning it over gently taking good care not to break the pieces. This should be done on medium to high heat.  



Add the yoghurt followed by mint leaves and chopped coriander. 




Let the chicken cook for sometime on medium heat till the broth thickens a bit and a whiff of the aroma comes out when you open the lid. At this stage the chicken yakhni (biryani curry) is ready. Squeeze in the juiice of half a lime and adjust the  salt. 


Now transfer the chicken to a roaster. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Boil the soaked basumati rice (regular rice should be washed and soaked for 1/2 an hr and the golden sela basumati for 2 - 4 hrs) till it is half cooked. The grains should be soft outside but still brittle inside. 


                                            

Drain the rice and pour it over the yakhni (the prepared chicken biryani curry) in the roaster. Top it with chopped coriander and  mint leaves. Dissolve saffron in 1/2 a cup of milk and sprinkle the half the saffron milk on the rice. Add the food coloring to a few grains of cooked rice and sprinkle the colored rice on top.

Close the lid well as firm but not brittle inside. If you find it gritty then bake it for 5 more minutes. Once it is done,  remove from the oven, add the remaining saffron milk, close the lid and let the roaster rest for 5 more minutes. The saffron flavour comes out.and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins.

With the help of a flat round spatula gently turn over and mix the biryani from the bottom to the top little by little taking care not to break the chicken pieces.  And as you mix, keep transferring the biryani to the serving platter a little at a time. Do not mix the biryani all at once as this will not only break the chicken pieces but also he rice grains. You have to slowly and gently mix it little by little with all patience.The steaming hot biryani is now ready. Enjoy the chicken biryani with onion raita and egg plant chutney. 




Cooking Tips:


1. When you soak the basumati rice the water should be atleast 4 inches above the rice. If there is less  water the rice would tend to break and become sticky.
2. Boil the rice in a big colander or pot which can hold atleast 2 litres of water. If you boil 1 kg of rice in a 1 litre pot then the rice woud become sticky and mushy.
3. To test the rice for doneness, take a grain of rice and press it between your index finger and thumb. It should leave 3 small brittle grains on your finger. If the rice is not done yet then you wouldn't be able to press the rice. Therefore it should be just a little soft on the outside but still gritty inside. .
4. For extra flavour,smash 3-4 green cardamoms just to open them a little and add them to the yakni when it is simmering in the roaster just before adding the rice. 
5. Adding saffron milk right at the end brings out the extra flavour.
6. I also add a little ghee on top of the rice before steaming it in the roaster at the final stage  for added flavour . 
7. Instead of pouring the saffron milk on the biryani,, you can melt butter in the saffron solution, add some of the boiled basumati rice to it and then sprinkle the butter flavoured saffron rice on top. This also enhances the flavour. 
8. Use preferably plum tomatoes or vine tomatoes as they are not very tangy. 
9. Choose medium sized freshly slaughtered yellow grain fed chicken.
10. Yoghurt should be thick, creamy and sour. I prefer balkan style astro yoghurt or the 3.5% plain astro yoghurt. 
11. Use the darker variety of cinnamon not the lighter ceylon cinnamon which is used in mostly desserts. 
12. For food coloring use the natural food coloring such as cochineal. the other dyes (red no.1 and red no.40) carry great health risks as they come from petroleum byproducts.


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